May 21, 2016: News & Views Roundup For Events Wranglers

The post for today, May 21, 2016, is a selection of recent events articles’ excerpts. Click on the headline links if you want to read the source articles from whence these excerpts came.

Event manager Allison Lacro’s cool job

Allison LacroWhat do you do? I am a production manager at The Production Network. I work mostly with our Microsoft clients managing…media events and trade shows, large and small.

How did you get started in that field? I was working at a marketing agency and a client requested an event manager…the company owner asked if anyone was interested. I was young, unattached and thought the traveling sounded fun, so I volunteered. Best decision I ever made…

What’s a typical day like? When I’m in the office I spend my time managing all of the pre-event logistics and planning details…If I’m on-site, I spend anywhere from 10–20 hours a day managing the build-out of the event…

What’s the best part of the job?…just getting to see the reactions of our clients and the attendees first-hand once everything is set up is by far the biggest perk. At my previous job, we worked on a website build and then it would be launched. Pretty anticlimactic…there is nothing like seeing the look on someone’s face when they experience your event and are overcome with excitement.

What surprises people about your work? People seem to think that I lead a very glamorous life…It’s actually quite the opposite. I fly coach, work 15+ hour days…”

Allison Lacro’s story shows three significant points about event management:

  1. It’s possible to get involved with event management without having a college degree in that field.
  2. Working in marketing or another field relevant to events is a good place to build your skills and resume if you can’t get a job right away in event management.
  3. When you’re enjoying your job, you’re not bothered as much by long hours and less-than-ideal working conditions as you would be if you disliked the job.

The Next Web: technology takes centre stage in Amsterdam

the next web conference AmsterdamWhat started out as a couple of tech entrepreneurs trying to promote their new startup to a gathering of some 220 interested people, has metamorphosed into one of the biggest and most important technology events in the world…Last year over 3,500 people attended the conference. This year is set to be bigger and better than ever, with the goal of attracting an estimated 20,000 people over the course of two days…It is testament to the growing interest and relevance of tech in our lives that what started out as 220 people is now growing at an exponential rate as it enters its 11th year…This year they’re going all out for a festival atmosphere with the rolling kitchens on site, demos, places to play, a resident DJ and workshops; alongside the speakers, pitching and fast money opportunities that you may expect at a conference focussed on entrepreneurship…The event also coincides with the final two days of the StartupFest – a nationwide start-up event…For the laymen amongst us there is also a lot of emphasis on the imaginative, creative and the content side of digital life. Keynote speakers also include…names that will open the event up to a younger and broader audience than you might find at a traditional conference…”

The Next Web tech conference shows how a small event which does a good job of meeting an emerging market need can grow far beyond what was envisioned by the event founders before the first iteration of the event was launched.

Event Innovators 2016: Jeff Sinclair and Ben West

eventbaseJeff Sinclair, 42, and Ben West, 41, were former colleagues each running their own tech companies…“Jeff and I were walking our dogs together in the forest in Vancouver and holding the iPhone, which had just come out, and going, ‘This is going to be big. There’s an opportunity to do something with this,’” West says. With the 2010 Winter Olympics soon to arrive in their hometown, they set to work creating an app for the games…“We built the application without having the contract. We took a big risk. We built a product that we thought would be very useful for them, and they ended up licensing it from us three months before the games,” Sinclair says. “It was the first app ever for an Olympic Games. They estimated originally 50,000 down- loads, and we ended up blowing through a million downloads in the first few days…Thus was born Eventbase. The company has produced the apps for the 2012 and 2014 Olympic Games, as well as for South by Southwest, the Sundance Film Festival, Comic-Con, Cannes…now Sinclair and West are focused on how an app can improve the attendee experience. “Events are inherently mobile. You are moving through venues and interacting with content and people in different ways…that means enhancing the connection to content, to enhancing the ability for attendees to network with each other and really bring about a richer experience to events…we’re really excited to see where we can take event technology in a mobile-first world.”

A few points to highlight in this article about the cofounder of Eventbase:

  1. Good things can come from serendipity and continually looking for opportunities being created by emerging trends and technologies at the intersection of different industry sectors.
  2. Very large events, such as the Olympic Games, present very large opportunities.
  3. Mobile tech offers intriguing entrepreneurial opportunities for improving event experiences.

DoubleDutch CEO on Vista’s pending Cvent acquisition

cvent and lanyonThoughts on the largest eventech transition in history…It also feels a bit like the end of an era. Is event registration officially dead as a driver and centre of gravity for event technology innovation? It may be. Not many companies acquired by PE prioritise technology innovation…Vista is a serious group…Clearly they are believers that technology is going to reinvent the biggest marketing spend in the world…Combining Lanyon and Cvent…presents some interesting opportunities…Lanyon is quite strong at large events. Cvent is very strong at meetings…The typical…Vista playbook is well known…eliminate duplication, slash R&D, optimise for financial performance, and raise debt to pay for the deal…But technology innovation is not typically part of the equation, which means that two of the most formidable technology companies in the world of events now face a future guided by financial engineering, not technology innovation….we do not believe that now is the time to stop innovating. For the first time…Event engagement can be tied to business outcomes…the window is wide open for…taking advantage of the innovation void within the market leaders…Cvent and Lanyon have done a marvelous job digitising what was previously a painful event manager workflow, and connecting event planners to vendors…”

The events I organize and participate in primarily use Eventbrite for registration and event management, rather than Cvent or Lanyon, so Cvent’s acquisition won’t affect me much in the short term. In the long term, it would be a shame if Cvent’s acquisition by Vista Equity Partners results in a slowdown for eventech innovation.

Empty Bowls

Ashland Empty Bowl, Drifting Through the Arts are Monday

empty bowls“…The Ashland Empty Bowl is a hunger awareness program and fundraiser for local food agencies. “All of the funds raised for the event will be split between the Ashland B.R.I.C.K., the Bad River Emergency Food Shelf and the Ashland Cares Backpack food program,”…Ashland students in fourth through eighth grades and students enrolled in high school Art & Design courses made the bowls while community members and local artists contributed additional bowls…they’ve made well over 400 bowls for the event…“The concept of Empty Bowl was actually developed by kids who were looking to raise money for a hunger fundraiser in their community in Michigan,” she said. “They worked with their teacher and came up with the concept of Empty Bowl and from that grew this meal…”

Red Bank: Buy A Bowl, Feed A Soul

For the second year in a row, the Red Bank-based Art Alliance of Monmouth County will host its Empty Bowls Project at JBJ Soul Kitchen this weekend. A joint fundraiser to benefit Soul Kitchen and the alliance, the event features a sale of one-of-a-kind, locally made ceramic bowls. Participants make a donation of $20 donation and receive a “pay it forward” coupon that entitles them to select one of the hundreds of handmade bowls…During the months of preparation, artists, students, and others have come together to create and decorate the bowls, said ceramic artist and project coordinator Mil Wexler Kobrinski…“The important thing is that everybody has been meeting and working on these bowls, coming together as a community with a purpose and a mission…”

don quixoteFive years ago, I talked with people in Appleton, Wisconsin, USA, about organizing an Empty Bowls event but was unable to persuade anyone to be an event cofounder. Also, none of the organizations I talked to were interested in hosting the event. Maybe it’s time to take a second tilt at that windmill…

If you like the concept of Empty Bowls, consider organizing one of these events in your city!


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